Volume 19 - Article 25 | Pages 973–1018  

Slovakia: Fertility between tradition and modernity

By Michaela Potančoková, Boris Vano, Viera Pilinská, Danuša Jurčová

This article is part of the Special Collection 7 "Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe"


In the last 60 years, Slovakia has experienced comparatively high and most recently very low fertility, long periods of stable fertility alternating with periods of changes, periods of substantial as well as lesser state interventions. Fertility was above replacement in 1990 and declined to the lowest-low levels during the period of transformation. Postponement of life course transitions – leaving the parental home, marrying and becoming a parent – became widespread among younger cohorts after 1990. High unemployment of young adults, increasing economy-driven migration and problems to gain a stable job contribute to this phenomenon. Reproductive behavior is changing, yet Slovak society remains culturally conservative. The dominant form of partnership is marriage, although extra-marital childbearing is rising. Cohabitation is spreading mainly as a prelude to marriage but is not widely approved. Population measures have a long tradition, although 15 years after regime change their nature is very different than that of the state socialist era. Considerable attention was and is being paid to population problems, however, the government has not designed and implemented a comprehensive system of family and population policies.

Author's Affiliation

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